Looking After Your Mental Health In The Workplace

5 mins

In the US, the month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This annual event serves ...


In the US, the month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

This annual event serves to increase public understanding of behavioral health issues, lessen the stigma associated with them, offer support, inform the public, and promote public policies that will benefit the millions of Americans who are affected by mental illness.

Mental health is a universal issue. Sometimes, external factors, such as stress or worry at work, can have a negative impact on your mental health. Workplace mental health is a subject that is becoming increasingly important. It's not surprising that, in a society where work takes up the majority of our time, both our mental health and our career can have an impact on how well we perform professionally.

One in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our life, according to estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which also notes that illnesses like depression and anxiety-related conditions can cost the global economy up to USD 1 trillion annually in lost productivity.

As a result, businesses everywhere are taking greater measures to assist the mental health of their employees. The value of work-life balance is now extensively promoted by many companies, and many even permit "mental health days" for their staff. Even if such employer-sponsored programs are really beneficial, it's crucial that we also make time to care for our own mental health.

Make mental health a priority

While most of us are aware of how important it is to take care of our mental health, doing so can be more challenging in workplaces where there are frequently lots of distractions. Prioritizing our mental health might be neglected in crowded offices or other workspaces as we concentrate on meeting client deadlines, interacting with coworkers, advancing our careers, and many other factors. There are things you can do to prevent your mental health from deteriorating while you are working, despite the distractions.

Why is maintaining our mental health while at work important?

Even though many people still find it awkward or difficult to discuss this subject, having mental health problems at work is becoming more and more common. Given how much time we spend at work, it is crucial that we take care of our mental health.

Encouraging good mental health at work has many advantages, and not just for the individual employee.

What are the advantages of making sure people are mentally healthy and fit while they work?

Higher Productivity

Employees are more likely to transfer a healthy mental and physical state into their work environment and feel more capable of accomplishing more when they are in this state of mind. Additionally, workers who have assistance at work are less likely to need long periods of time off for stress and burnout or to take sick days for their mental health.

Improved Job Performance

Employees are more likely to take pride in their job in environments that support healthy mental health, which can enhance performance. This may be due to the fact that they feel more confident in themselves when their mental health is in good shape, or because they are better able to feel inspired and passionate about their work since they aren't deterred by overwhelming emotions of stress and difficult emotional states.

Reduced Staff Turnover

Talent is more likely to stay at a company that makes an effort to help its employees in every aspect of their lives, including supporting their mental health. Employee satisfaction and motivation at work can increase when they feel supported and empowered by their company, and happy employees are less likely to look for new chances elsewhere.

You can preserve your mental health at work by simply adopting certain healthy behaviors. Here are our top suggestions for improving your mental well-being. 

Learn To Say No

Knowing your capacity for work is essential to avoiding overstretching yourself at any time, but it's much more crucial when you're experiencing poor mental health. Of course, it's natural to want to please your boss and coworkers by completing multiple tasks and duties well, but there are times when you can only perform at your peak when you don't take on too much.

Understanding Workplace Stress

Most of us may occasionally suffer some level of work stress, whether it comes from the strain of making a deadline or dealing with a challenging client. When your stress levels become excessive and start to have a detrimental impact on your well-being, issues may occur.

Start by developing a better awareness of stress, such as learning how to recorecognizeand more about its origins, in order to manage your stress levels. You will be better equipped to think of workable solutions when you are more aware of what is generating your stress.

Establish Boundaries

We are accessible at all times thanks to modern technology, which might lead to an unhealthy "always-on" culture. You can promote excellent mental health by striving for a better work-life balance. It's crucial to feel content with your time spent both at work and away from it.

 Set some boundaries early on to prevent yourself from feeling unable to unwind properly while away from work and from feeling unable to ignore the messages from work that keep appearing on your phone. Setting some boundaries and keeping your work within the office can be accomplished by doing something as simple as leaving work on time and not working through lunch.

Taking Time To Look After Yourself

It's critical that you carve out time to take care of yourself, whether that means going outdoors for five minutes to breathe some fresh air or taking advantage of a mental health day if your employer provides one. Sometimes all it takes to make you feel less stressed and anxious is a brief change of scenery.

Additionally, you should prepare to use your annual leave entitlements all throughout the year. You must take time off from work if you want to maintain good mental health. Even if you don't go on vacation, a week or two at home away from work will do wonders for your mental well-being.

Speak To Your Employer

Sharing your vulnerabilities and seeking help when you need it requires courage.

The next step might be to speak with your manager or employer if you believe that you are unable to control your stress on your own. By doing this, you can aid them in understanding the elements of your employment that are worrying you and in finding solutions.

Your company owes a duty of care to you, their employee, in every industry and in all positions. Tell your manager how you are feeling and what your doctor has advised, and then work together to determine if there are any changes that can be made to your working environment to ensure that you are comfortable there.

While speaking up and discussing your mental health at work can be intimidating, as the saying goes, a problem halved is a problem solved. Therefore, talking to someone you trust is one of the most empowering things you can do if you feel like you need help.


Believe it or not, relationships at work have a significant impact on both mental health and job satisfaction. According to research, those who have healthier relationships in life typically live longer. Don't be hesitant to engage in more social interaction with your coworkers or go on a work outing.

Inform your employer if social interactions at work are currently not encouraged in your office. Take advantage of these social benefits and spend some time with your coworkers away from the office. Every organization ought to provide opportunities for social engagement.

Introduce Self-Care Practices Into Your Routine

Self-care activities are an effective approach to promoting mental health, and the good news is that you can carry them out throughout your working day.

Self-care doesn't always mean having a bubble bath or reading your favorite book; it can also entail setting limits at work or treating yourself to lunch at your favorite restaurant. These simple self-care practices can uplift your mood and foster a sound mental condition, both of which are necessary for a contented and effective employee.

Staying Active

One of the most recommended ways to maintain your mental health and well-being is to stay active. This can be challenging, though, if your profession demands you to spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or standing still.

Think about the various simple ways you might include fitness in your workday. It's not necessary to schedule a spin class for lunch; it might be as easy as using the stairs rather than the lift or going for a 15-minute walk in the afternoon. To ensure you are moving during the day while working from home, try giving yourself a reason to leave the kitchen table or your home office at least once.

Seek Treatment When Needed

Always talk to a professional if you ever feel overly stressed or mentally ill. 80% of workers who received treatment for mental health issues reported increases in their job happiness and productivity, according to the Centre for Workplace Mental Health. Many companies offer resources and access to mental health professionals so having the bravery to seek help is a great step in bettering your mental health. 

Taking care of your mental health at work starts and ends with taking care of your mental health in general. It will be beneficial in the long run to develop excellent habits that will support maintaining your mental health.

Start using the aforementioned ideas in your life right away. It's simple to let work influence how you feel and dictate your mood, but with a little time and effort, you can reclaim your power and work to attain good well-being at both work and home.

If you need to seek help or advice regarding mental health or if you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741. You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline. Trained crisis workers will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need.